Imagine, for a moment, that Al Michaels was not in the broadcast booth in Lake Placid in 1980. That Howard Cosell was not ringside when the champ unexpectedly tumbled to the mat. That Johnny Most was not courtside for the most famous steal in Celtics history.
What would we think of those moments — iconic moments all — without the soundtracks that accompany them?
A lot can go into determining what makes a sports call "great." The moment, clearly, has to have some kind of import. The phrases can't be cliches. The excitement has to be real.
And yet, for the truly legendary calls, sometimes you just know you've heard greatness without having to figure out why. You can pinpoint it later, but it doesn't change the fact that you know it right off the bat.
"Do you believe in miracles?" "Down goes Frazier!" "Havlicek stole the ball!" Those phrases and others echo through the years, augmenting the memorable events that inspired them.